Thursday, January 13, 2011

Creating Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 4: Census Records

I'm still trying to transform my "free-form" source citations created in Family Tree Maker 16 over the past 12 years to "template" source citations in Family Tree Maker 2011.  I have hundreds of source citations to United States census records in my database - how can I transform them?

The Evidence! Explained book by Elizabeth Shown Mills (I have the first edition) provides this source citation model for Online Images of U.S. Census Records for 1850  to 1930 population schedules, for a specific person, in Chapter 6, Section 6.25, page 277, for a full reference note:

1850 U.S. census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, p. 290 (stamped), dwelling 151, family 156, Virgil W. and Wyatt B. Earp; digital image, image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 16 January 2007); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 187.

The source citation models for U.S. census images in the QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources and QuickSheet: Citing Ancestry.com Database & Images, also by Elizabeth Shown Mills, have essentially the same elements and format.  The latter resource has this example entry for the 1930 U.S. Census:

1930 U.S. census, Boyd County, Nebraska, population schedule, Butte Village, Enumeration district (ED) 8-8, sheet 6-A, p. 239 (stamped), dwelling 139, family 142.  Christena Fast; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 22 January 2009), citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, roll 1265.

Family Tree Maker 2011 offers two different Source Types for U.S. census records - one for "by census year" and the other for "by census year and location."

Here is a specific source citation for one of my persons in the free-form style that came across into FTM 2011:

1930 United States Census, population schedule, National Archives, Washington DC, Hillsborough, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire; ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household, accessed on http://www.ancestry.com/, citing National Archives Microform Series T626, Roll 1301

Close, but there are some differences relative to the EE and QuickSheet models.  The differences stem from my use of a "Master Source" in FTM 16 of "1930 United States Census, population schedule" in the "Title" and "National Archives, Washington, DC" in the repository field.  I put everything else from the town to the Roll number in the "Citation Detail" for the specific person. 

I transformed my 1930 U.S. Census citations from their free-form style to the
"by census year" source type using the process described below.  Here is the current free-form source citation information: 


 
.


I clicked on the "Change" button, and selected:

*  Source Group: Census Records
*  Category: Digital Images
*  Population Schedules - United States 1880 to 1930, (by Census Year)

The "Edit Source" form looked like:


After clicking "OK", I filled in the template fields with:

*  Census Year: 1930
*  Publication number: T626
*  Website title: Ancestry.com
*  Database publisher:  Ancestry.com
*  Publisher location:  Provo, Utah, USA
*  Database year: 2004
*  URL:
 
http://www.ancestry.com/  

The form looked like this:





I clicked "OK" and the 1930 source citation for George Everett Seaver looked like:

1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, Hillsborough, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire; ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household, accessed on http://www.ancestry.com/, citing National Archives Microform Series T626, Roll 1301; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/)

Hmmm.  There's some duplication because of how I've structured my Citation Details, and the location information isn't the same as the EE and QS models.  I could modify my Citation Details and end up with:

1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, Hillsborough town; ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household,  Roll 1301; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com/)


That almost meets the EE and QS models - the Roll number is separated from the publication number, it doesn't have the access date, and my citation details could be improved.

What about the  "by census type and location" source type?  I created a new source group for the 1930 U.S. census with this source type:


The resulting source citation for my specific person looks like:

1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1301; Hillsborough, New Hampshire, Hillsborough town, ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household, accessed on www.ancestry.com, citing National Archives Microform Series T626, Roll 1301; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com).

I can edit my Citation Details and come up with:
1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1301; Hillsborough, New Hampshire, Hillsborough town, ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household; digital image, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com).

That's almost exactly what the EE and QS models have - it's missing the access date information, although I could add them to the details.

My conclusions are that:

*  The "by census year" source type template comes fairly close to the EE and QS models.  This source type puts all of the location details in the citation details rather than in the template itself.  One "Source Group" can be used for many locations.

*  The "by census year and location" source type template are almost exactly the EE and QS models.  This source type requires the Roll number and county/State location in the template, and the town/city information in the citation details.  Using this template requires using a different "Source Group" for each census Roll cited.

This leaves me with a dilemma;  which of these actions should I take:

1)  Change my source citations to the "by census year and location" source type template to most closely conform to the EE and QS models.  I would have to create about 160 new Source Groups and change all of my Citation Details to conform to the template.

2)  Change my source citations to the "by census year" source type template to be fairly close to the EE and QS models.  I can do this with my existing Source groups (one for each census year) but I need to edit all of my Citation Details.

3)  Stay with the free-form source citations that I presently have, and edit all of my Citation Details to come fairly close to the EE and QS models.

4)  Does it really matter?  Is this just an exercise in attaining unachievable perfection?  Sometimes I wonder!

I think that there is a bigger question.  If I use the FTM 2011 source templates to create source citations that conform to EE and QS models, how will they translate to other software programs and online family trees?  Will the template fields transfer perfectly to RootsMagic 4, Legacy Family tree 7, Family Tree Builder 5, Ancestry Member Trees, the WeRelate wiki, the MyHeritage tree, or the coming FamilySearch Family Tree?  How badly will my wonderful source citations in my database be mangled? 

Has anybody experimented with that issue?  I dread having to edit my 600-plus sources every time I use a GEDCOM upload.   

Disclosure:  I received a gratis copy of Family Tree Maker 2011 from Ancestry.com in November 2010.  I had purchased earlier versions of Family Tree Maker myself, but also received gratis copies of some versions from Ancestry.com (which I donated to a local genealogical society).  I try very hard to be objective in my comments about Family Tree Maker, and all genealogy software, subscription sites and websites.

UPDATED:  A whole bunch of editing transpired during the production of this blog post over two hours.  I lost half of it once and had to rewrite it.  Sometimes I really dislike Blogger.  Or my editing skills...darn figners!

3 comments:

Russ said...

Randy,

Was there a screen, between the first and second screen in your blog post? One where each of the fields had a choice as to what to do?

Russ

Randy Seaver said...

Russ,

I had a lot of trouble with this post - I had to add back in everything after the third figure.

I only had four figures to show - the first shows what I had, the second shows the Source Type options, the third shows the "by census year" template fields and the fourth shows the "by census year and localion" fields.

Mark said...

Great "how to" posts for FTM 2011 master source creation, Randy. For censuses, I like "by year" format to minimize # master sources. I follow the template "hint" on citations to list State, then County, then Township/Parish. Makes it easier to see patterns when reviewing entries for a particular source. Lastly, I enter all members listed under one family # on the same citation, and then link that single citation to all those listed as part of the family. This is done as a citation to a Residence fact.